HomePine Bluff newsScam alert issued by Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Scam alert issued by Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Jefferson County, Arkansas – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is raising an alarm about a recent phone scam, urging the public to stay vigilant and aware. A concerned citizen’s report has prompted the sheriff’s office to issue this public warning, highlighting the importance of safeguarding residents from fraudulent activities.

Maj. John Bean, the sheriff’s office operations commander, stressed the seriousness of the situation. “We want to ensure the safety and security of our residents and to prevent anyone from falling victim to this fraudulent activity,” he said. This statement underscores the commitment of the sheriff’s office to protect the community from such scams.

The scam involves a caller, falsely identifying himself as Sgt. Blake Anderson, who contacts citizens claiming there is a warrant issued for their arrest. The basis of this supposed warrant is the failure to appear for jury duty in state or federal court. However, Bean clarified that these calls are fraudulent and any demands for money or personal information in such situations should be met with extreme caution.

Bean also emphasized, “As a reminder, law enforcement will never ask for payment of any type over the phone nor will they ask for personal identifying information that could be used for fraudulent purposes. Law enforcement and government agencies will also never ask you to pay by unusual methods, such as gift cards, wire transfers or cryptocurrency.”

The scammers, who research their potential victims online and via social media, use spoofed law enforcement numbers to make their calls seem legitimate. They often employ high-pressure tactics, including threats of arrest, to intimidate victims into complying with their demands.

To counter this, the Jefferson County sheriff’s office advises the public to never send money or personal information in response to such calls. It’s essential to verify the caller’s identity by contacting local law enforcement directly. Additionally, residents should be wary of high-pressure tactics used by scammers and report any suspicious calls to the authorities.

Authorities further advise, “If you believe you received a scam telephone call, hang up and call the number back.” If the call is legitimate, it will connect to a 911 dispatcher or receptionist who can confirm the caller’s identity.

The sheriff’s office also encourages the community to share this information widely, particularly with vulnerable groups like the elderly, to prevent the spread of such scams. Anyone who has information about this specific incident or has been targeted by a similar scam is urged to contact the Jefferson County sheriff’s office at (870) 541-5496.

Ethan Sullivan

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